School halts decline - thanks to new head

‘GOOD leadership’ at a Weston school has helped reverse a decline in pupils’ achievements which threatened to leave it inadequate, say education watchdogs.

A total of 27 teachers left Broadoak and Mathematics Computing College in the two years up to the summer of 2009, leaving an ‘adverse impact on achievement’.

But the subsequent appointment of headteacher Shelagh Pritchard has put the 901-pupil school on the road to recovery, with clear improvements in maths and English.

In a report by Ofsted, inspector Andrew Harrett judged the school as ‘satisfactory and improving’.

He said: “Good leadership and management have raised the quality of the curriculum and teaching and learning after a period of uncertainty.

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“Turbulence in staffing had an adverse impact on achievement.

“However, the good leadership of the new headteacher has halted this decline.

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“Consequently, attainment is now broadly average, with improvements in mathematics and English.”

Ms Pritchard took over the headteacher position in September 2009 following the retirement of Linda Heaven-Woolley.

In the report following an inspection on May 11 and 12,year, Mr Harrett said achievement amongst pupils had declined.

The proportion of children gaining five good grades at GCSE including English and maths had remained static while the figures nationally had improved.

However, Mr Harrett said the ‘situation had now been halted’ and achievement was now average and improving.

He also said the quality of teaching was satisfactory overall, with an increasing proportion which was good.

One area he did highlight as weak was the assessment of written work in exercise books.

In a letter to pupils, he said: “After a period when many teachers left the school and attainment dipped, we found that the school is once again on an improving trend.”

The inspector has asked the school to improve in the marking of work, which he found inconsistent, and to set out clearly how pupils can improve their grades.

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